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Auto blogWed, 10 Jul 2013 17:31:00 EST
Between slow sales and a hefty price drop for its nearest rival, the Ford Focus Electric may be looking at a pretty substantial price cut. The Detroit News is reporting that Ford will drop the price of the all-electric by about $4,000 to $35,200 to be more competitive with the Nissan Leaf, which received a big price cut for 2013 down to $28,800.
Ford has already admitted to having low expectations for the car's sales and massive rebates were reported earlier in the year, but there is still no official word from Ford on this matter. The company's consumer site still lists the 2014 model's starting price as $39,200. In addition to the Leaf, the Focus Electric will also have to deal with the lower prices of smaller EVs including the Honda Fit EV, Fiat 500e and the Chevrolet Spark EV.
We may regard Ford as an American automaker, but ask a Brit and they may tell you otherwise. The Blue Oval has, after all, been selling cars in the UK since 1903, and started manufacturing there as far back as 1911 when it began local production of the Model T in Manchester. Last year Ford ended 100 years of vehicle manufacturing in the UK when the last Transit van rolled off the assembly line in Southampton, but it's still the biggest-selling automotive marque in Britain.
Ford has led the British market for 34 out of the past 45 years, selling more Fiestas than any other company sells any other car in the UK since 2009... when it overtook the Focus. In fact the Fiesta has now become the best-selling car in British history, topping 4,115,000 units since its introduction in 1976. The previous record was held by - you guessed it - another Ford: the Escort sold 4,105,961 units over the course of its 32 years on the British market.
Although the Fiesta is no longer manufactured in the UK (previous versions having been built at Dagenham until 2002), engines are: the EcoBoost line was developed at the company's R&D center in Essex and are built at the factory in Dunton, while its diesel engines were developed at Dagenham in East London. Even the 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine in the Fiesta ST is built in South Wales.
YouGov's mid-year Brand Index rankings of America's best perceived brands has been released, and Ford has found its way to the top. The Dearborn, Michigan based manufacturer beat out online shopping giant Amazon, The History Channel, and home improvement superstore Lowe's, to take the top spot.
Ford jumped from sixth overall in 2012 to first for 2013, but those that have been watching these rankings shouldn't be hugely surprised. Ford was rated the best perceived automotive manufacturer by the same organization last year. The Blue Oval's success on the overall brand rankings is made all the more impressive by the complete lack of other automakers on the list.
YouGov (that is, survey respondents) cited Ford's first quarter of 2013 business, which saw an increase in market share and the best earnings recorded in over 10 years. Successfully launching the Focus and Fusion (pictured) and keeping them fresh in the minds of consumers has also contributed to Ford's best overall score.